Pull off the interstate for some heavenly coffee

BLUFFTON — Lisa Rains is a wedding and event planner by trade and a Christian at heart. She says when God told her to open a coffee shop in Bluffton there was little doubt in her mind that it would happen.

That conversation, which took place some five years ago, came to fruition last month when LuvU A Latte coffee shop opened its doors — or, more correctly its drive-thru window — at the site of a long-vacant restaurant on the east side of Bluffton, just off state Route 103 and east of Interstate 75. A grand opening was held May 2.

Rains, who owns the business along with her husband, Steve, and daughter and son-in-law Faith and Jamin Abeyta, said earlier this week the initial returns for the new business have been “absolutely beautiful.”

“The community has been so supportive,” she said. “I’ve heard nothing but positive comments. Several people have thanked me for bringing a business to this side of the highway.”

The opening came more than two years later than anticipated as the red tape often associated with building and business ventures presented no shortage of obstacles. Signage will be installed soon to help guide prospective customers.

“Building a coffee shop from scratch, building anything from scratch, is not glamorous. But we are ready for an adventure and willing to work hard to create something special,” Rains said.

LuvU A Latte specializes in coffee blends from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Rains said beans from that island produce coffee that is low in acidity with a distinct, full-bodied flavor.

“There are no GMOs (genetically modified organisms) involved,” the owner said. “We want our customers to taste the difference of a good, high-quality cup of coffee from the beautiful island of Kauai in Hawaii and keep coming back for more good brews and friends.

The shop also serves fresh donuts and pastries, real fruit smoothies, protein drinks and flavored lemonades. Homemade biscuits and gravy were on the menu board earlier this week.

The business is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Saturday hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m. The drive-thru is closed Sundays.

“Our goal here at Luv U A Latte is building a community together, one cup at a time,” Rains said.

One customer posted on Facebook earlier this week: “My favorite lattes in town! I like the shark attack with dark chocolate and extra espresso. I love that this is drive through, and everyone is so kind and friendly. Happy to support family owned business.”